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Although Benjamin Franklin has a good claim to be the world’s first mail order entrepreneur, it is the anniversary of the first Montogomery Ward catalogue of 1872 that has provided the date for National Mail Order Catalog Day. Over the intervening years, it grew from a single page of products to a monster capable of striking fear into the stoutest of postal workers!

Alas, the Montgomery Ward behemoth is no longer with us, having faded away in 1985, but stalwarts such as Sears still carry the torch, whilst the catalogue with the longest run to date, the Hammacher Schlemmer, still plies tools and building materials (no doubt including torches, should Sears ever drop theirs).

Celebrate the day in style by signing up for a few mail order catalogues and ordering some goodies. Running shoes are a great place to start, especially if your postman is not of a forgiving nature.

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